A casual round on a not-so-casual hill
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Beautiful picturesque setting within the mountains of West Virginia
-Easy access from highway (1st exit off of 68 if you're coming from 79, then a mile or two off the exit)
-Very nice Innova DISCatcher baskets
-Very unique course, I wouldn't expect to ever play another one like it
-Great elevation changes. Holes 9, 17, and 18 are extreme uphill and holes 10, 11, and 12 are extreme downhill. All others have some amount of elevation change as well.
-All 18 holes are located in a close proximity (all on the same side of a steep hill) to the parking lot, so not a bad walk back if you need to leave in the middle of a round.
-A fairly good workout walking up the side of the hill. This may be a negative aspect for some, but I enjoy this about certain courses
-The designers incorporated the trees as much as they could (hole 1 especially)
-Very nice bathroom and course map near the parking lot
-Course is only a few minutes away from downtown Morgantown, where they are lots of great places to eat and drink
Cons: -As well as the designers placed the holes, the variety can only be so great when every hole is in the same setting on the same hill with minimal trees and without any other kind of obstacles
-I think the length of the tees are good, but some might prefer longer ones. They are shorter than, say, Orange Crush or Seth Burton's tees. Also, they are gravel, and some of the tees need to be filled in a little better. Some obtain puddles of water from rain.
-Grass can get tall in the rough, making it a battle to find discs sometimes (although they do mow the entire course occasionally - which is much appreciated)
-As previously mentioned, almost every hole's drive is faced without dealing with any obstacles other than the elevation, making the course pretty repetitive. You can get away with throwing a hyzer on almost every hole and it works. Not much challenge. I don't use a great variety of discs here, either.
- Pretty bad blind shot on 10, and 11 and 12 aren't too great either. This can be frustrating because there is very thick rough surrounding these holes. My brother had the climb the little fence that was at the edge of the woods to get a disc. Never fun to pass over a fence to get a lost disc.
-Navigation can be difficult. Some tees are placed near each other, with mostly every tee sign missing. No next tee signs either. The first 9 flow well, but then 10's tee is back at the top of the hill and way to the right (facing uphill). Tees for 11 and 17 are right by each other, without signs to indicate which is for which.
-When there are tee signs present, it only reads the hole number and the hole length - nothing else
Other Thoughts: I did not enjoy this course the first time I played it: the grass was knee-waist high in the rough and I struggled to find a few of the tees. However, I have come to really enjoy playing here. It is not a course that will challenge you with much variety, unless you aren't used to big elevation. But it is a fun, casual round - type course. I enjoy throwing new discs out here, because of the course's openness. Since I've been coming here, the fairways have always been cut short and the rough hasn't been as bad as the first time I played. This course has beautiful views and is probably unlike any other course you will play. Therefore, it is worth checking out. It is also only approx. 15 minutes away from Morris Park in Pleasant Valley, which has two wonderful courses in Orange Crush and Seth Burton. Stop by Black Bear which is only minutes away in downtown Morgantown after your round, some of the best food I've eaten.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Too much hillside, not enough variety
Pros: Great info available on site. Course map is posted, and there were lots of scorecards and pencils in the box beside the bulletin board. The course layout is almost exactly as indicated on the maps.
Lots of hill walking, if that's what you want. A few fun holes: I liked the 8th, and the severe blind downhill dogleg left of the 10th.
There's a different feel to the front and back nine, to limit the repetition somewhat. Front nine holes are primarily back and forth side hill. Back nine has a lot more down and then back uphill. And the holes are all short, which limits the potential for damage to the scorecard, or the heart on the uphill stretches.
Cons: Entire course set on the same hill. There aren't many imaginative options for hole design, and the result lacks inspiration.
Natural tee boxes were thin, and wet after a rain. There was no hope of even a controlled walkup into your drive, especially with the severe slope of the surrounding grassy areas.
Course opens with a tight chute between trees, with the basket set into the woods to the left. There's no way to aim your hyzer (for righties) to break at the correct moment, because there's no discernable gap to the basket. Just grip, hook, and hope.
The course opens up after that, but it's not an improvement. 2-7 are a mundane stretch of back and forth sidehill shots. The hillside is primarily open, with a few scattered trees, which become default basket locations. It seems almost silly to throw across 200+ feet of open space, only to be smacked around by basket-blocking branches. Even when the branches help your shot, the results are too arbitrary to take credit for.
The layout drops down the hill primarily by slotting each fairway below the previous. There are a few holes that reverse the process, but not enough to avoid a ridiculous short uphill ninth.
Four straight downhill holes to open the back nine. The drop was too severe to expect much control. 11-13 the basket is set up tight against the woods each time. It's easy to let the disc float too far.
The course ends with two more short, obscenely steep uphills. Much harder to aim, when the primary task is to keep your disc from crash-landing. Only 200 feet each hole, but all I wanted to do was reach the top. A very frustrating way to close out a round.
Other Thoughts: The open hillside can be deceptive, in terms of tracking throws. If you veer off the low-cut fairways, there's a good chance you'll lose a lot of time searching for your disc. The woods can be thick with thorns.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Worth a Visit if You're in the Area
Pros: Dorsey's Knob is located in a very picturesque setting, and its elevation and openness foreground the area's inherent beauty. There were many times when playing here that I simply stopped myself and took in the gorgeous landscape before me. Great views.
The course's unique bowl-shaped hillside location makes for a memorable playing environment.
In my mind, this course's greatest strength and most unique attribute is its extreme elevation. It's on largely open terrain, so elevation changes and smart pin placement are key to generating worthwhile holes, and DK is often successful in this regard. The extreme downhill hyzers on 10 and 11, the uphill, rough-guarded basket on 8, and multiple pins in the shadow of trees provide a few examples of how the course maximizes its inherent features. I've never before played a course so thoroughly dependent on elevation to create interest and variety, so Dorsey's Knob provided a unique experience for me that, while not overly challenging, certainly maintained my interest.
Bathrooms are readily available and perhaps the nicest I've ever seen at a disc golf course.
Gravel tees were serviceable: I've seen better, I've seen worse.
Easy to find off the highway.
Cons: The overall condition of the course seems a bit rough around the edges. The rough can get tall, and in its worse stages can make finding discs that have strayed even slightly from the fairway a real pain. Fairways themselves seem to be well maintained, however.
Course navigation can be difficult for new visitors, and there are several reasons for this. First, DK's openness means you're often seeing multiple baskets and tees simultaneously, so it can be hard to tell where to go next. Coupled with the common absence of tee signs - which apparently get stolen often by local kids - and it's hard to know what tee belongs to what pin without piecing it together or asking a knowledgeable local (which, fortunately, seem to be friendly, present, and often visible). The tee signs which are in place provide minimal information - only a hole number and an often-seemingly-inaccurate distance. Graphics would go a long way to tracking down a tee's associated basket. Beyond this, the tee signs are generally crappy: corrugated cardboard attached to a metal pole with zip ties.
From a technical perspective, the absence of numerous or varied obstacles often makes traveling to the basket a singular proposition - straight, left, or right - in which small or moderate deviations go largely unpunished. There's a fairly large margin for error on many of these holes. The lack of variation in regards to woodedness and distance limits the playing experience, and the lack of alternate tees - very desirable given the relatively low difficulty of the current tees - reduces replay value. This would be a hard course to grow with if you were a local, given its low difficulty and quirky nature (due to the extreme elevation). The course does have alternate pin positions which are more challenging than those currently pictured and listed on DGCR, but I'm uncertain as to how often they switch back and forth between these positions. Even so, the course is simply too open to challenge intermediate and advanced players.
Other Thoughts: Given its openness, wind is more of a factor here than at other courses in the area.
Despite my listed drawbacks, this course was actually much funner than I expected it to be. I think catching the rough at a relatively low height (based on what locals have told me it's capable of being) contributed to this: we didn't have to spend a lot of time looking for discs. Dorsey's Knob plays quickly, and provides a nice alternative to the technical challenges of nearby Seth Burton and Orange Crush, making for a great stopping point on your way to or from those more noteworthy courses. It's certainly worth a visit.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice little course
Pros: You start at the top of a hill that overlooks most of the course. The views of the valley and the hills in the distance are amazing, that sold us on the course before we even started.
Easy to navigate, there are clear paths to the next tee from the previous basket.
Great use of a relatively small space. Great elevation changes, some steep downhills and uphills. Well maintained course with nice fairways and challenging rough.
Cons: No real signature holes.
The rough provides a great challenge, but it's a nightmare trying to find your discs. It's the thrower's fault for throwing them in the rough in the first place, but I thought I'd mention it. We spent a lot of time looking for discs.
A few tee signs are missing. The course is easy to navigate, but the tees for 11 and 18 are right beside each other and neither are marked. It's easy enough to figure out, 11 goes downhill and 18 goes uphill.
Other Thoughts: From what I saw online, it looked like all the holes were just straight shots with a fairway and a rough. I really didn't know what to expect, but my brothers and I all loved it. Hole 1 was probably the most unique (and my favorite), so it started out on the right foot. All together a great little par 3 course.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
A cup of tea... just not mine.
10 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Close to many amenities in the Morgantown, WV area... shopping, food, lodging, etc. Very easy to find at just a mile off of I68. The bathroom is inside the building at the parking lot. It was very nice, and warm in there. It was cool outside when I arrived, unlike the hot day mentioned in another review. So the warm facilities were appreciated. Beautiful scenery all around with awesome views of WV mountains!
Once I found tee #1, I actually found the course very easy to navigate, using the map, even my first time around. Without the map, both navigation and basket selection could be confusing. But both the map already posted on here and the map available at the course kiosk are very helpful.
The baskets are my favorite Innova Discatchers with the bright Yellow belts and numbers on each basket. There are basic tee signs at each tee that are far enough away so that they shouldn't interfere with your run-up. The crushed gravel tees are OK. They may be a little narrow, but overall they were fine for me. A couple were a little "rutty" but that could be fixed very easily.
I found the "limitations" of this piece of land to be what made the course so interesting. It plays both across and up & down a "bowl shaped" area. This course is an excellent cardio workout. I'd be in trouble in a tournament, though, as it took me longer than 30 seconds after getting to my drive on #9 to fully catch my breath and get composed.
I think it's awesome that on back to back, similar length holes #9-10, how incredibly different they have to be played. I had to throw a full power driver on the 189' #9 due to the extreme increase in elevation to even get close to the green. Throwing at this extreme uphill angle is not natural, or common, on the courses that I've played. Then on #10 I had to throw a <50% putter to keep from blowing 100' past the hole. #17 & #18 present a similar uphill challenge and #11 & #12 present a similar downhill challenge.
#2-8 and #13-16 all play across either totally, or mostly, open fairways, with the fairways cut out of deep grass. The holes, though, have shape and curves to them. I throw RHBH primarily and there are "forced" hyzers, anhyzers and totally straight shots. And elevation change, again, comes into play on most of them. If you just look at the pictures of the course, they can't possibly represent the overall feel of the holes completely.
#1 stands alone as the only truly "wooded" hole. And it's probably the most level, too. It's a nice little start to the course.
Birdie opportunities are available if you can accurately throw close to 300' and putt a little. But rollaways are also distinctly possible on many holes. So make sure your approaches are accurate.
Cons: Only about 2 trash cans on the course. Fortunately, it looked like most of the people playing there must be considerate as the course was very clean. And no benches other than at the kiosk at the top of the hill. After some of the hill climbs, a bench here or there would be a nice addition.
I love the elevation changes on the course, if you can't tell. But due to the lay of the land, the sequencing of the holes puts a lot of descending and ascending of the hills back to back. #10-12, for example, all play extremely downhill. Then #16, and #17-18 more extremely, gain back much of the elevation change all at once. This is nit-picking, I know. It would just be nice if the land would have allowed the elevation changes to be broken up a bit more.
Even though I like how the open fairways have been shaped, it seems that some wooded areas along some fairways could have been brought more into play. Although it looks like it would be a major undertaking to clear out the underbrush. Having a couple more wooded holes would help break up the feel of the course more, too.
The grass around the mowed fairways was pretty thick when I played, but seemed to be a little beaten down from several days of rain. Definitely focus on where your drives land because I can see this thick grass eating discs pretty easily. ***Don't throw green discs unless they're neon! ;-)
Other Thoughts: ****Update 8-10-13****
I moved my rating down from 3 to 2 for Dorseys after playing it again a couple weekends ago. The up and down, hillside nature of the course, with the fairways just cut into higher grass, that I found "interesting" earlier, was now really more of a let down than anything. The course seemed more repetitive and dull to me this time around. I rarely feel like walking off of a course without finishing, but I felt like it on this day... although I did finish the round.
Several pin locations had been moved, which would normally be a good thing. But I found some issues with the changes. First of all there were no maps at the kiosk so it took some looking around to make sure where I was throwing. Plus most of the signage is gone. So I was totally guessing at distances. Several of the tees were very rutty now and some were also holding standing water in the ruts. These simple maintenance issues really need to be addressed.
The worst thing about the new pin placements, though, was that they simply added length. On several holes, there is a single tree at the fairway... so the pins just got moved behind or under the trees. And on a couple others, they just got moved closer to the woods. Unfortunately, they didn't mow any more grass or clear any area around the new pins. So it simply created a much greater chance for losing discs. Holes #8, 10 and 13 in particular come to mind. They're blind tee shots, with two of them considerably dowhill, and the baskets are basically set right on the edge of the woods with thick undergrowth immediately past them. The new positions simply seem "gimmicky" and detracted from my enjoyment of the course. End of 2013 edit.*******
It was a relatively calm day when I played. But the wind did gust some. I can see wind being a big factor on this course at other times due to the bowl shape.
I was pleasantly surprised by Dorsey's Knob. Again, the pictures on here are very nice. But you just can't get a true sense for how steep the elevation changes are on several holes... or that there are elevation changes at all on some of the others.
#s 1, 8 & 12 are some of my favorites. #1, simply because it's a fun little, right turning, wooded hole. The only wooded hole on the course. #8 is just a "simple" hyzer, not too long, but protected by thick grass to the right and thick woods to the left. Plus this pin sits up high and is a distinct rollaway candidate... just ask gflap. And #12 is my favorite of the big down-hill throws. You're pretty much forced to throw low through an opening between trees. The basket sits off to the right and is guarded by the thick rough to the right, the thick woods to the left, and dense brush long.
Again, I was pleasantly surprised by Dorsey's, and really enjoyed it. It should be playable for most anyone willing to undertake the "hike" nature of the course. Beginners should be able to play it... and will quickly learn how far a disc will go downhill... and how far a disc won't go uphill. The length won't really test big arms at all, but shouldn't be too short to be enjoyable. I throw about 325' on level ground and had plenty of opportunities to air it out.
I wouldn't call Dorsey's a destination course. But if you're going to be in the area definitely hit the course. And if you're playing Seth Burton and Orange Crush in Fairmont, if you have a little extra time I would definitely recommend the short trip up the highway.
I can't believe I waited this long to mention it, but... I aced #13 on my first round. Maybe that's why I enjoyed it so much.
Lastly, I gave this course a 3.0, Good, rating. If 2.5 is typical, I found this course to be anything but typical, due to the unusual layout. I am not questioning the other ratings at all. I just really enjoyed the course. (And Swatso already called what my rating would be. You were right, buddy!)
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Up, Down, and Around
Easy to navigate. Two, 9=hole loops. New, quality baskets, including a practice basket.
Bathroom on site, in an air-conditioned building, which was much appreciated on the 9o+ degree day I visited!
Tee locations a bit small, and gravel-filled. While the map indicates there are two tee locations per hole, there appears to be only one.
Course plays up, down, and across the end of a horseshoe-shaped valley, with the tee locations marked by easy-to-spot yellow signs, containing basic information..
After number-1, a short/tight right-turner through a patch of woods, down and right from the practice basket, holes 2-5 are quite open, as they slowly work you across/down the slope, heading for the back-right edge of the park.. Numbers 6-7, also open, play across the midpoint of the slope, and begin to bring you back towards the start. Number-8 has the patch of woods along its left side. Number-9 is short but straight uphill, with the basket out of view, near the woods on the left (most visible baskets from tee-9 will be #18 and the practice basket.)
Tee-10 is to the left of the practice basket, and, while open and short, plays blind down a steep hill. Numbers-11 and 12 continue the steep downhill trend, introducing a large tree (#11) or fairway defined by groups of trees (#12). Now near the bottom of the valley, flat-n-open #13 continue to take you away from the start. Number-14 regains some of the lost elevation and begins returning you to the start, and open numbers-15 and 16, playing parallel to but below numbers 6-7, head back towards the start. Numbers 17-18 are both straight uphill for an exhausting finish.
Definitely on the open side, the primary challenges coming from the extreme elevation changes found on ~1/3rd of the holes. The shorter distances make the course playable for intermediate- players, and advanced+ players should have several birdy opportunities. Not far off I68, so if you like your courses open and don't mind some steep slope walking, certainly worth a visit if passing through the area.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Up, Down, then Up again!
Pros: This newly installed course has great proximity to the booming college town of Morgantown. This course is very accessible from either interstate 68 or 79.
The baskets are brand spanking new Innova Discatchers!
There is a packed gravel tee in good condition on every hole.
Decent facilities for such a small park. Bathrooms etc.. near tee number one.
A good kiosk right next the the practice basket, which usually has maps and scorecards.
For a course that is located exclusively on a steep hillside it is well maintained. The fairways were wide and mowed well.
The course designer took advantage of literally every thing available on the property.
Cons: This course is located on a very awkward piece of land. The entire course is on a steep, mostly wide open hillside.
Many of the holes are very short and the course overall is very easy. It would be no stretch of the imagination that a good player could go 18 under on this course.
This course has a little bit of a navigation issue. Not because the tees are far away from each other but because you can see so many baskets and tees all at once. Since they are now hosting PDGA tournaments here there are now some temporary tee signs and navigational aides around the practice basket area. These are helpful but there can still be confusion in the 1, 9, 17, 18, 10, 11 area of the course.
Really for how short the course is, with all the hillsides, you really have to work for it at this course. A round of 18 or 36 on a hot day might just wipe you out.
Very repetetive. I have no suggestions to improve this on the given piece of property.
There are no amenities as of yet on the course like benches, garbage cans, or descriptive tee signs.
Other Thoughts: Dorsey's Knob is really just a very tiring pitch and putt located on the side of a mountain. I have talked to the designer of this course and have been told that this was not the location that was originally set aside for a course and some form of bait and switch occured leaving him with very little to work with.
Regardless it is always nice to have a new course installed in my region and it was nice to see so many people out on this course getting their first (hopefully not last!) taste of disc golf. I think this would be a great place to bring a beginner since they will have plenty of room to work with and would be able to reach some of the baskets o nthe downhill holes.
If you are coming to play this course please keep in mind that even though the holes are fairly short, overall it is still a work out. I am a regular runner and I still felt a little burn in my quads walking up to 18's basket.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Convenient location a short drive from WVU campus with ample parking and other park facilities.
- Variety of elevation changes.
- Mowed fairways and recently installed tee boxes.
Cons: - Course is very repetitive, as most holes are straight and wide open.
- No signage indicating start of course, and no signs on the tee box or to direct you to the next hole. While finding the next hole is generally pretty easy, making the turn does not follow an obvious path and can be confusing.
Other Thoughts: Though I attended college at WVU, I was somewhat surprised to return to the area on business and find a newly installed disc golf course at Dorsey's Knob. From what I've read on the web it looks like this is probably the first summer that the course has been up and running, and I can definitely appreciate the effort that locals have put into developing the facility, which should be a huge boon for students.
The course is located in an area park and is installed, for all intents and purposes, on the side of a hill in a hayfield. This is definitely a course that is somewhat handcuffed by the real estate that they have. Though I'm sure things will improve as more time is spent developing the course, such as signs and alternate tee pads, there probably isn't much that can be done as far as the course layout itself.
The first hole is somewhat hard to find. Though the practice tee basket is right off the entrance road and many other baskets can be seen on the drive in, the first tee box is tucked away below and to the right of the practice pin in a small thicket. Signage here would be a big help. The first hole is a tight anhyzer through a small grove of trees to a short pin location, but this is really the only "wooded" shot on the course. Though overhanging branches come into play on a few other holes and some pins are nestled against tree trunks, the course is almost entirely out in the open. While this makes for a great opportunity to work on your drives, especially in the brisk winds that come with playing on a hilltop course, there's not a lot of variety and the course gets pretty monotonous. The front nine works back and forth along the hillside, so you will have to throw both backhand and forehand drives to avoid dropping down the slope of the hill, and with the unmowed "rough" being fairly substantial, there is some added value to keeping you drive accurate.
Hole 9 is a short yet almost vertical shot to a pin on the left hidden behind trees. Without signs, this hole is very hard to find, especially since the tee box is directly next to the Hole 17 tee, making things confusing. Luckily I snagged a couple locals who pointed me in the right direction, but without that insight it's not at all obviously where to head from the Hole 8 basket. Hole 10 is likely difficult to find, as you actually have to go back up near the practice basket for a steep hyzer shot down to the basket. That was probably my biggest complain about the course, as it is very unlikely that someone unfamiliar with the course would know to head back up to the top of the hill for this hole. Given, there is a course map available on the web as a printout, but for anyone who doesn't have that, navigation can be tough at times.
Holes 10, 11, and 12 are basically straight downhill, while Holes 9, 17, and 18 are straight up. I haven't played at a course that had more severe changes in elevation so far, so that was particularly challenging. It's very hard to keep your drive settled on the downslope greens, so take care when teeing off not to come in too hot.
The course information mentions alternate tee boxes, but I didn't find any. So far, only one set of permanent tees is installed, with packed gravel in landscaping timber which works pretty well. There might have been alternate tees marked with orange flags, which I saw sporadically as I play my round, but I can't be sure. Again, I'm sure this is something that will come with time.
Overall, this is a fun course and I was glad I could take an hour away from the hotel to come over and give it a try. I can only imagine how much time I would have spent here if it had existed when I was in school, and I really appreciate the investment of time and money that has been put into putting this facility in place. It's not a pro level course by any means, and a top player will probably get bored with the shorter distance and repetitious nature of things, but give the space that the course designers had to work with, I think they did an excellent job of maximizing what was available. Though I wouldn't make a trip specifically to play this course, it's definitely worth playing if you're in the area.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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